|Students on a Guildhall Summer School. Photo credit: Paul Cochrane|
The three Guildhall School Jazz Summer courses (full details below) are a well-established summer fixture. The Jazz and Rock week is in its 31st year and is the oldest of the three. Sebastian asked Scott Stroman, conductor and former Head of Jazz at the Guildhall School, who started the Summer Schools, to explain something of the history and the flavour of the courses:
First I asked him about the Jazz and Rock week:
“ There’s a special energy about the Summer School, it’s delightfully exhausting. Morning to evening for six days. In the final concert we have 30-40 groups playing/ alternating on 2 stages , it’s an incredible production, such a blast.
The course is not only jazz but rock and recording studio too. It has attracted young rock musicians who want to try jazz. And jazz musicians who want to do soul bands. It’s all about people who want to play, to try something new. We have the most wonderful faculty / team, and many of them have been there right from the beginning.(Drummer)Trevor Tomkins is fantastic. (Bassist) Alec Dankworth and (saxophonist) Jean Toussaint were with us from very early on too.
(Saxophonist, Former Head of Jazz at Guildhall) Martin Hathaway first got to know us when he came on the summer course. For pianists we have Jason Rebello and Huw Warren as tutors. And then there’s Richard Michael. Richard is the ideal summer school tutor he can deal with anybody at any level.
The students get to perform with a pro band. That’s the benefit of any of the summer schools, you play alongside professionals. Jean Toussaint can put together the funkiest motown horn section in half an hour!”
I then asked Scott Stroman to explain the Advanced Jazz course:
“Advanced Jazz is focused on the skills that someone wanting to come on a full time course might want to attend to. We wanted to create a more focused advanced course for people thinking of coming full time. It’s about connected preparation, more classroom-focused. We stream and grade all the courses but the Advanced Jazz acknowledges that among the students there are some who want and need more time to consider if the full-time course might be for them, so we hived it off as a separate course.”
(There is also an account from 2013 student James Brady, proudly brandishing his certificate, on his WEBSITE
And the Singers’ Weekend ?
“It’s just two days, such a blast, we’re pouring stuff in. It is choral-based with 50 singers. It’s all by ear and a real leveller. It involves singers of all ages (not small children) and includes quite a few professional singers We produce a concert mixture of close harmony AND jazz AND gospel AND world – It’s great to have Lucky Moyo from Zimbabwe on the team.” (pp)
Guildhall School is offering a special LondonJazz News reader discount for its Jazz & Rock Week , Trumpet, trombone and bass players need pay only £295 (down from £475 – 38% discount). This is being offered on a first-come, first-served basis, with a maximum of 12 spots – 4 for each instrument).
To take up this offer readers should email firstname.lastname@example.org with their name and instrument, quoting ‘London Jazz News’, to receive a tailored website link to book at the discounted rate.
DETAILS OF THE GUILDHALL SCHOOL JAZZ SUMMER COURSES
23 July – 24 July, 10am-5.30pm
Concert 24 July 7.30pm- 9pm
Jazz & Rock Week
24 July – 29 July, 10am-6pm
Tutor concert 7pm-8pm
The Club 8pm – 10pm
Concert 29 July 7pm-10pm
Friday 5 – Sunday 7 August, 10am – 5pm
7pm – 10pm The Club
Final Day Concert 7pm – 10pm